Well, after 7 trips to the city department of public works for free compost and mulch, 2 trips to Lowe's for hoses, grass seed, mulch, top soil, and peat moss, one surprise trip to my parents' house to borrow their rototiller (my dad thought it was stolen because my sister forgot to tell him that we stopped by and I didn't email him to update him on the situation), and one trip to Eastern Market for herbs and veggies, we were set to begin our gardening adventures of 2008.
Here's a before picture of our garden from Thursday night:
And, here it is today.
We made lots of improvements to the garden this year: better planting organization, a better balance of plants (we hope), a new trellis for the climbing sugar snap peas, mulch in between each row to cut down on weeds, and a new irrigation system set up with 2 soaker hoses. We're hoping this new watering system will cut down on watering time and wasted water.
This year we planted tomatoes, red, green, and yellow peppers, zucchini, eggplant, cucumbers, bush beans, sugar snap peas, lettuce, celery, onions, and garlic. And because we organized the garden better, we were able to leave one row for a cutting garden with daisies, snap dragons, zinnias, lychnis, gallardia, black-eyed susans and coneflowers. I can't wait to have fresh flowers inside this summer!
And, I have my herb garden set up this year. I think I made better plant choices this year for the herbs, so hopefully I'll be able to use them all for cooking. I planted dill, oregano, basil, cilantro, rosemary, chives, mint and shiso (perilla).
Here's our next project for the summer...turning this flower bed into a japanese garden. Jon's in search of cocoa shell mulch, pea gravel, a stone lantern and a stone water basin. I transplanted the coral bells and astilbe from this flower bed to our front garden and left him two ferns, a pine tree that he's training into a life-sized bonsai plant and a bleeding heart. He's got big plans for this space!
It took us about two months to get to this point in our yard maintenance last year, so it feels great to get the majority of it finished in one weekend! Next weekend, we'll be planting some annuals and mulching the rest of the flower beds in the front yard...easy peasy!
And, with all this work this weekend, we also managed to fit in a trip to the Ann Arbor Book Fair to see Jon's erhu teacher, XD Wei play. We spoke with her husband afterward and he complimented Jon on how well he plays. He told Jon that on the easier songs, sometimes he can't tell if it's Jon or his wife playing. Yay! Jon is so talented and dedicated to practicing, so this was such a nice compliment for him!